Arsenal Closing in on Dijon Goalkeeper Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson

Runar Alex Runarsson
Arsenal are close to signing Runar Alex Runarsson | Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Arsenal are close to completing the signing of Dijon goalkeeper Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson, who is set to replace Emiliano Martínez as the Gunners' backup shot stopper.

After an impressive run in the first team towards the end of last season, Martínez made it clear that he did not plan on hanging around unless Arsenal could offer him first-team football, but with Mikel Arteta ready to commit to Bernd Leno, Martínez is close to sealing a £20m move to Aston Villa.

Emiliano Martinez
Martinez is close to joining Villa | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Brentford goalkeeper David Raya was Arteta's preferred replacement for Martínez, and 90min learned that Arsenal opened talks to try and get a deal done. However, after losing Ollie Watkins and facing the prospect of losing Saïd Benrahma, Brentford have put their foot down and made it clear that Raya will not be sold unless an astronomical bid arrives.

Arsenal are obviously not keen on spending big on a player who will spend most of his time on the bench, and the Evening Standard state that the focus has now completely turned to Runarsson.

The 25-year-old Iceland international is expected to be available for around £1.5m, and with Arsenal looking to save money to fund other transfers, the Gunners are prepared to push ahead with their pursuit of Runarsson.

Fabrizio Romano goes one step further and suggests the deal is already done, confidently stating that Runarsson will be the man to replace Martínez.

During his two seasons in Ligue 1, Runarsson has forged a reputation as a goalkeeper who likes to play with the ball at his feet, which is understood to have endeared him to Arteta.

Runar Alex Runarsson
Runarsson is comfortable with his feet | Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

However, as noted by WhoScored, Runarsson's save percentage of 57.8% is the lowest of any goalkeeper to have played at least 20 games in Ligue 1 since the start of the 2018/19 campaign.

Arsenal are also believed to be keen on Dijon team-mate Mounir Chouiar, a 21-year-old winger who managed six goals in 26 appearances in his debut season last year.

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